Meet the indigenous people of the north
The Norwegian tundra offers a range of activities reflecting the Sami people's culture and heritage. Dog sledding, northern lights ceremonies, reindeer husbandry, and witnessing the northern lights are popular attractions. These activities allow visitors to experience the beauty of the Arctic landscape while gaining a deeper appreciation of the Sami people's rich cultural heritage.
A deep connection to nature
The Sami people have a strong and deep attachment to nature, which is evident in their way of life and culture. They have a unique relationship with the environment, rooted in their traditional livelihoods of hunting, fishing, and reindeer herding.
Sami culture emphasizes a harmonious coexistence with nature, and they have developed a wealth of knowledge and skills to survive in the harsh Arctic climate. Today, the Sami people continue to preserve their cultural heritage while also promoting sustainable practices that protect the natural world they hold so dear.
Traditional ways of life
round 2,600 Sami people in Norway make their living from herding reindeer, and the majority of the region of Northern Norway is actually used for raising reindeer. Traditionally, most Sami people have supported themselves through fishing, livestock farming, and hunting, along the coast, on the fjords and alongside the large rivers farther inland.
Today, a large proportion of the Sami people live outside the traditional Sami areas and have moved into the towns of Northern Norway or to the Oslo area. Even more, they still live in traditional Sami settlement areas but earn their living in the modern service sector, industry, travel and the public sector.
In Sami culture, various distinctive means of expression exist. Among them is the Joik, which stands as one of the oldest song traditions in Europe and remains vibrant to this day. A Joik is a song dedicated to an individual, an animal, or a location, with the melodies reflecting the characteristics of the subject being sung about. If you wish to strike up a conversation with someone, attempting to "Joik" them might prove quite impactful!
If you have ever heard a Joik, you will likely be struck by the emotive power of this form of expression. The singing is often accompanied by gestures and movements, making the performance a full-bodied experience. The deep connection between the singer, the subject of the song, and the audience creates a shared emotional experience that can be quite moving.
Fashion & crafts
The traditional Sami clothing, known as "Gákti," is a living tradition that is still in use today, primarily during festive occasions. Although some may argue otherwise, there is no harm in following one's own fashion preferences, and the "kofte" (a type of sweater) reflects such changes in fashion.
Sami crafts are also deeply valued and maintained, with a focus on tin embroidery, pearl embroidery, shoelace weaving, jacket seams, wood carving, and knife-making, all under the Sami word for "craft," duoddji. Sami boots, filled with blister sedge, provide better warmth than modern survival gear and are a popular choice when temperatures plummet below -40.
Find Sami experiences
Dog-sledding with Northern Lights Ceremony
A dog team with 4-6 dogs takes you on an exciting dog sledding trip in Gratangen’s deep forests!
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